I originally wanted to do this project on his latest film, Sicario, which is just mind-blowing. However, I couldn't find any of the scenes I had in mind. So, I decided to analyze one of my favorite films, Skyfall.
Skyfall is the first film Deakins used a digital camera to film with. He worked with the Arri Alexa, and seemed to have been very impressed by it. The scene I absolutely love is when Bond and M flee to Skyfall, Bond's childhood home in Scotland. Up until this point in the film, the colors and lights have been warm and bright. When they go to Scotland, the colors turn cold and subdued. This transition to a bleak landscape signals a major shift in the film. Act II has begun.
There's a lot of great balance here. The symmetry is very clear in some shots, like when he parks the car in front of the house. The house itself is very symmetrical. I also just love the way Deakins speaks to use through his shots inside the house. When Bond and M walk in, we get several shots of them from far away, behind furniture and door frames. This hints that they are being watched.
I also have to give nods to the production designer, Dennis Gassner, and the costume designer, Jany Temime, for coordinating the colors of the house interior and the characters' clothes to the scenery outside.
In conclusion, go see Sicario.